Gattaca’s Solar Power and Plug-In Electric Vehicles Mark the Future

GATTACA Poster 1997

1997, Columbia Pictures

Gattaca (1997), starring Uma Thurman, Jude Law, and Ethan Hawke, is a futuristic film set in the ‘not so distant future’ where your genetic profile determines the opportunities available to you for the rest of your life.  Invalids (pronounced like an invalid username or password rather than the outmoded term for someone who is sickly), those with less than perfect genetic potential, are doomed to menial labor and a life without opportunities for advancement.  It’s a thought provoking film.

Energy comes into play in the form of rocket launches (the territory of the genetically superior), plug-in automobiles, and a large solar farm.  As the Energy at the Movies TV Special highlights, renewable energy, particularly solar, is often used by Hollywood as a time-stamping device to indicate the future.  A striking scene midway through the film shows Thurman and Hawke’s characters strolling among rows of solar troughs at sunrise. Interestingly enough, those solar troughs are real, but were built in the 1980s. Electric vehicles make a less pronounced, but interesting cameo in that the art director chose decidedly retro-style vehicles for the cars of the future.  I wonder what the underlying intention was behind this marriage of old and new.

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